Part of the show's running storyline is a falling-out between Kevin and Winnie, who becomes a background character for several months, until she and Kevin reconcile. The main reason for this part of the storyline was that actress Danica McKellar had had a growth spurt, and she and star Fred Savage, already shorter than McKellar, didn't look right standing together. The characters reconciled after Savage began to catch up in height.
In the last episode of the show, the voice of the narrator's kid at the end is Daniel Stern's son Henry - the producers wanted them to end the show talking to each other.
Becky Slater, who played Kevin's occasional love interest and frequent nemesis was actually played by Danica McKellar's(Winnie Cooper) younger sister Crystal McKellar. The role of Becky was specifically created for Crystal after she had actually been a close runner up for the part of Winnie.
In nearly every dinner table scene, one of the Arnold family members (usually Norma) mentions a potato dish.
The show's setting is never overtly mentioned. Creator Neil Marlens wanted to specifically set it in Long Island, NY, but ABC wanted an anonymous setting to reflect an "Anytown, USA" feel. However, various clues throughout the series strongly indicate the setting was indeed the suburbs of Los Angeles (most likely in the San Fernando Valley): all the cars have California plates, there are mountains at the end of the Arnold's street, snow or heavy winter weather is never shown, Wayne's driver's license shows a California address and ZIP code, and Jack's job was at a defense contractor (there were many in the San Fernando Valley in the 1950s -1990s).
The scenes in which Wayne would continually inch a car forward as Kevin was trying to get into it were initially improvised by Jason Hervey. Hervey has said the routine was inspired by his own older brother having done it to him.
Each of the schools that the characters on the show attended, RFK junior high, Lincoln junior high, and McKinley senior high were all named after men who were assassinated.
In order to make it easier for Fred Savage to react to the voiceover, there was a real narrator on-set reading out loud the voiceover lines.
After the series ended, Fred Savage's mother kept the New York Jets jacket worn by Kevin during the show's first few seasons. In October, 2014 Savage announced intentions to donate the jacket to The Smithsonian, upon the institute's request for props from the show.
The house used for exterior shots of the home in the opening sequence and throughout the entire show's run is 516 University Ave., Burbank, California.
Inspired by A Christmas Story (1983). Peter Billingsley who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story (1983) makes a guest appearance as one of Kevin's roommates on the last episode.
According to the 2013 book "Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad", ABC wanted to make the show a bit edgier as Kevin matured, and to do that they discussed hiring the TV writer and producer David Chase (who later created "The Sopranos"). Chase wrote a script in which Kevin reads "Catcher in the Rye" and thereafter starts acting like Holden Caulfield, including drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. The script was rejected as too edgy and Chase never went to work for "The Wonder Years."
Fred Savage came to the attention of the show's casting directors through his roles in Vice Versa and The Princess Bride. Not hearing of either movie, Producers obtained a rough cut of Vice Versa, and cast Savage largely as a result of his performance in the film.
The series was canceled due to declining ratings and raising budgets. In addition, the cancellation partly came about due to disputes between the network and the show's producers. As Kevin aged, producers wanted to explore more mature issues, but the network thought such issues would be inappropriate for the show's time slot, and were unwilling to change it.
While Daniel Stern was the narrator for the series, Arye Gross was the narrator for the pilot episode.
Producers were unclear as to whether the show would be renewed after the sixth season. As a result, what would come to be the series finale was written and initially produced in an open ended manner. Kevin's closing narration recapping the series wasn't recorded until official word of the show's cancellation came down.
Rumors on the Internet said that the role of Paul Pfeiffer was played by rocker Marilyn Manson. Although this is believed widely, it is not true. The role was played by Josh Saviano. Plus, Manson would not have been able to play a 12 year old character when the show started because he was actually 19 years old in 1988.
The character 'Wayne Arnold' was ranked #7 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 10 Biggest Brats" (27 March 2005 issue).
The Wonder Years debuted in 1988 and featured Daniel Stern as the voice of adult Kevin Arnold played by Fred Savage . In 1989, Daniel Stern played Fred Savage's father in the movie 'Little Monsters' also starring Howie Mandel
Whenever it cuts to Mr. Cantwell's science class, his speech always metaphorically relates to Kevin's personal life.
Bob Brush said the show got a lot of fan mail in the last season about how Kevin and Paul were not as close as they once were. He said this was intentional, as Kevin, now with a driver's license, could associate with whoever he wanted and he and Paul changed as they got older. He said this is how most friendships realistically evolve over time.
Fred Savage 's brother Ben Savage (who played Corey in Boy Meets World) appeared at a very young age as a student/cupid on The Wonder Years Valentine's Day episode. Blake Sennett also had a role on The Wonder Years, mostly seen in shop class, who later was given the role of Joey "The Rat" on Boy Meets World. Dan Lauria (who plays Jack Arnold on The Wonder Years) also made an appearance on Boy Meets World.
Season 1 Episode 1 is the only episode when coming into the kitchen from the back door, the refrigerator is on the right side of the room & the stove is on the left side and the entry way to the dining room is on the right. The rest of the series the refrigerator is on the left & the stove is on the right and entry way to the dining room is on the left.
Wayne's birthday is April 6th. Season 5 episode 14 reveals this by his Vietnam draft lottery number of 312. Jason Hervey's birthday is also April 6.
Owing to its time period, the Vietnam War served as a recurring backdrop to the series, and Jack was a Korean War Veteran. In real life Dan Lauria was a Vietnam Veteran, serving with the US Marines.
The Wonder Years series was told in the style of A Christmas Story, and was intentionally written based on this style. Daniel Stern, The Narrator/Adult Kevin, later went on to appear in A Christmas Story 2 in 2012. In addition, Dan Lauria, who plays Kevin's father on the show, featured in a stage musical version of A Christmas Story.
Bob Brush said his favorite season was the last one. He enjoyed expanding the roles of Jack and Norma Arnold that season and giving them personalities beyond their stereotypes throughout the series.
Carol Black and Neal Marlens, the co-creators of the program, grew disillusioned with Hollywood and abruptly left the industry. Bob Brush took over from them as show runner and executive producer in season two, staying in that role until the show concluded.
Although an actual town or State is ever mentioned, in Episode 3 #7 (The New Car) when Jack is working on the old Dodge Polaras at the beginning you can clearly see the last letters of the license plate indicating it is a California plate.
Kevin's birthday is March 18, 1956. This is revealed in the episode about Paul's Bar-Mitzvah.
In the episode when Wayne gets his drivers license, the letter that comes in the mail displays the zip code for Culver City California 90230.
Alley Mills stated in a 2018 interview that the show was cancelled as a result of a groundless sexual harassment suit filed against Fred Savage and Jason Hervey by a member of the crew
Each episode was set 20 years prior to the year of the air date. Meaning the first episode that aired in 1988 was set during the summer of love in 1968, when Kevin was 12 and the final episode that aired in 1993 was set in the summer of 1973.
Kevin Arnold is 12 years old in the first episode, which was set in 1968. That means he was born in 1956 and likely was in his late 30s-early 40s as the adult narrator.
Alicia Silverstone guest-starred as Jessica in one episode. Fred Savage hit on her during filming and asked for her phone number. She gave him her parents' fax number and he tried to call it.